2016 Ilaria Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

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About the Wine

You may not have heard of this micro-production and newcomer. But, you've definitely heard of the premium wineries where the owners and winemakers have worked before. After reviewing their chops below, you'll be smitten like we were.

Husband and wife team of Anna and Mario Monticelli both studied enology at UC Davis. 

  • Anna worked at Cheval Blanc (avg. price is $775/btl) in St. Emilion during the best vintage in a century in 2000
  • Later, Anna worked for 5 years as Assistant Winemaker at Bryant Family (Avg. price is $650/btl)
  • Anna is currently winemaker at Pina (Avg. price is $85/btl)
  • Mario has worked for Antinori, Philippe Melka and is currently winemaker at Trinchero

What does all of the above mean? In short, this wine is an incredible value from not one, but two very accomplished and competent winemakers. They have Class A experience crafting super high end wines, some of which you have probably enjoyed. Their day jobs preclude them from spending much time doing sales and marketing and they want to keep costs down as they build their brand. This side passion project is to make the best Cabernet from selected vineyards in Atlas Peak and in St. Helena and overdeliver in quality and value. This is a no-brainer for Napa Cab enthusiasts.



The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is composed of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot aged 22 months in 75% new French oak. Fruit comes from the Atlas Peak Foothills (77%) and St. Helena (23%). Deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with beautiful baking spices, potpourri and forest floor scents over a core of cassis, blackberry pie and black cherries plus a touch of camphor. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm and grainy with a lively line lifting the taut, muscular fruit to a long, earth-tinged finish. 320 cases produced. ~93+, WA

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